Charlotte Cornwell dead aged 71

Actress Charlotte Cornwell has died at the age of 71 following a battle with cancer. She died on January 16. 

The TV and film actress, was best known for her role in BAFTA-winning 70s TV series, Rock Follies, a drama about a fictional all-female pop group’s attempts to find fame.

Charlotte starred as Anna Wynd alongside Rula Lenska as Q and Julie Covington as Dee in a band called Little Ladies in the series. 

Charlotte Cornwell dead: Rock Follies star has passed away aged 71 after cancer battle... a month after her half-brother John le Carré’s death (pictured in a still from Rock Follies in 1977)

Charlotte Cornwell dead: Rock Follies star has passed away aged 71 after cancer battle... a month after her half-brother John le Carré’s death (pictured in a still from Rock Follies in 1977)

Charlotte Cornwell dead: Rock Follies star has passed away aged 71 after cancer battle… a month after her half-brother John le Carré’s death (pictured in a still from Rock Follies in 1977)

Charlotte was asked about whether or not she anticipated that Rock Follies would be such a cult hit. 

She told the Rock Follies website: ‘I always had the feeling that what we were involved with was either going to be a very special thing, or it was going to disappear down the tubes – I never felt there would be any in-between. As far as ‘cults’ go- their very nature makes them unpredictable.

‘I had been at the Bristol Old Vic for three and a half years and done a play at Greenwich, a few TV’s and a David Mercer film with Tony Hopkins so, I knew that if things went well for the show it would be a ‘big’ break for me. 

Outing: Charlotte pictured at the Henry V press night at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre in June 2016

Outing: Charlotte pictured at the Henry V press night at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre in June 2016

Outing: Charlotte pictured at the Henry V press night at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in June 2016

‘Immediately after the second series was finished I chose to go to the Royal Shakespeare Company which I have never regretted. However, I wonder if my career would have been at all different if I had hung out for TV and film work – who knows? Who cares!’

Her death comes just a month after her half-brother, spy author John le Carré – did aged 89 after falling ill with pneumonia. 

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy author John famously based the main character in his 1983 novel The Little Drummer Girl on Charlotte.

He had also wanted to cast his sister in the movie of his book and was disappointed when Diane Keaton played the part instead. 

Charlotte once said of John: ‘I’ve always felt embarrassed about the way I fell into acting because everyone I know wanted to do it from a frighteningly early age.

Silver sirens: Pictured in Rock Follies of 77' starring, (L-R) Rula Lenska as Q, Charlotte as Anna Wynd and Julie Covington as Dee

Silver sirens: Pictured in Rock Follies of 77' starring, (L-R) Rula Lenska as Q, Charlotte as Anna Wynd and Julie Covington as Dee

Silver sirens: Pictured in Rock Follies of 77′ starring, (L-R) Rula Lenska as Q, Charlotte as Anna Wynd and Julie Covington as Dee

‘I was completely directionless until he sat me down and said “Come on, sis, what are you going to do? I think you’re creative, have you ever thought about acting”?’ 

In response, she decided to take up a place at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. 

She went on to work with the Bristol Old Vic company and won a role as Sally Potter in the musical Stardust.  

Born in London on April 26, 1949, Charlotte was the daughter of Ronnie Cornwell, a man who served terms in jail for fraud and obtaining money by false pretences, and mother Jean. 

Charlotte is survived by daughter, Nancy Cranham, 39. from her relationship with actor Kenneth Cranham and Martin Baylis, 46. 

In 2006, Charlotte was reunited with her son Martin, 40 years after she gave him up for adoption  — by a million-to-one coincidence.

The former Royal Shakespeare Company star was just 15 when she gave birth to a Martin, in a West London hospital, and he was subsequently adopted by a bank manager and his wife. 

Brotherly love: John le Carré, 89, died in Cornwall in December following a short battle with pneumonia

Brotherly love: John le Carré, 89, died in Cornwall in December following a short battle with pneumonia

Brotherly love: John le Carré, 89, died in Cornwall in December following a short battle with pneumonia  

Charlotte had been searching for him for years and at one point, believed she had found him, but he turned out to be a different man who happened to share her son’s name and date of birth. 

Martin revealed how they came to find one another. He said: ‘I was at a dinner party in London at which the guests had been discussing adoption.

‘The hostess, a friend of mine, had to leave early because she was meeting an actor called Fritz who had just flown over from America.

‘She rang me the next evening and asked me to come and meet Fritz, and virtually as soon as we met, he said he saw Charlotte’s likeness in me.’

He added: ‘It was an absolutely unbelievable coincidence. My natural mother had even put Fritz on the plane in LA for the flight to stay with my friend.

‘I was the right age and born in the right place, so I took it from there.’

Martin soon established through adoption agencies that Charlotte was indeed his birth mother, and they later had an emotional reunion.

‘It was great discovering I also had a sister,’ says Martin, referring to Charlotte’s daughter Nancy.   

Support: Charlotte pictured with partner Kenneth Cranham at the Olivier Awards in London in 2016

Support: Charlotte pictured with partner Kenneth Cranham at the Olivier Awards in London in 2016

Support: Charlotte pictured with partner Kenneth Cranham at the Olivier Awards in London in 2016

Link hienalouca.com

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